- Music draws upon spirits that reach back to the very beginning of time and will still be at the end of time.
- Music that searches for a truth is able to draw upon those spirits to bring both the performer and the listener into another kind of awareness.
- – James Newton
It is a mystery that when the first tone of music starts it goes straight to our soul.
- – Alice Herz-Sommer
I think that its nice to add something to somebody’s life. I feel if I can add instead of subtract something, then I’m doing something worthwhile.
- – McCoy Tyner
- When we see the person, not only the sound of the music uplifts us – we get the smile on the guy’s face when he’s playing. We see his gyrations and everything, how he’s grooving to the music.
- And we get into it with him, you know?
- – Horace Silver
- You give of your life force through your instrument to create a vibration that can heal.
- A musician is like a doctor: the more you give of yourself, the better you can make people feel.
- – Steve Turre
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
- – Duke Ellington
Participation is key to the chemical reaction for whatever you are doing. If the chemical reaction is not there, it makes it very difficult to communicate.
- – Odean Pope
Music washes away the dust of everyday life.
- – Art Blakey
As an artist, I often have a feeling that the music itself places me there purposefully to explore the creative planes being revealed: the musical and aural, the visual and emotional, the temporal, the communal, and of course the deeply personal.
The magic of a performance photograph arises from a kind of synergy that can occur, where the artist performing and the artist recording merge briefly in a profoundly spiritual way.
Perhaps it's described best in Eugene Herrigel's book Zen in the Art of Archery: "The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye…the hitter and the hit are no longer two opposing objects, but are one reality."
While all great photographs are touched by this paradox, the Jazz image is an especially powerful vehicle: an intimate landscape that transports the viewer inside the music as far as he or she is willing to go. It's not just about the closed eyes, the intense concentration, the playful glances, the improbable postures. It's about the message of this music in situ, the ray of healing that emanates from the human soul.
The best images open a gateway for that healing ray – a direct channel between the player and the viewer in each of us.
Being there to capture such moments is a sweet gift, and I'm indebted to each of these musicians for their readiness to share their energy and special grace with the camera.
It's my hope that the photographs, recordings and ideas on this site will be an inspiration to you and provide glimpses into the possibility that music brings to our existence. After your visit, I hope the world will be a better place for you as well.
– Bob Rosenbaum, 2016